The line went dead. I quickly put the phone away and, with eyes closed, pinched the bridge of my nose.
This was exactly what I had been afraid of – and, presumably, precisely what the authorities had intended. Picking me up in a cop car, in broad daylight… Not exactly subtle, was it? Yet my ego had convinced me; of course they were sincere, of course they were interested in recruiting me! Dumbass.
They had sweet-talked, and cajoled, and complimented, and I had swallowed it all, becoming drunk with praise and attention. Glug glug glug… Flattery will get you everywhere, boys! What a picture of naivety I must have presented, an absolute sucker for fawning sycophancy.
No matter that, after coming to my senses, I had rebuffed their advances. No matter that, in the end, my principles had held firm. No matter that I had ultimately turned down the offer to cooperate with their investigations. Who was going to believe it? “Oh, yeah, you got picked up in a paddy-wagon, talked to the gatekeepers of the establishment for a few hours, and then emerged none the worse for wear and, supposedly, untainted by the experience…”
I was a dead man. Or, at least, about to enter a long, hard period of isolation.
The phone call had confirmed it: A comrade affably informing me that she had seen the police pick me up the day before, and asking what had happened.
Sometimes there is nothing that you can do or say – the weight of assumption is insurmountable.
Solidarity, brothers & sisters…🌟